Re: inet: frags: Turn fqdir->dead into an int for old Alphas

From: Linus Torvalds
Date: Sat Jun 08 2019 - 13:55:43 EST

On Sat, Jun 8, 2019 at 10:42 AM Linus Torvalds
<torvalds@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> There are no atomic rmw sequences that have reasonable performance for
> the bitfield updates themselves.

Note that this is purely about the writing side. Reads of bitfield
values can be (and generally _should_ be) atomic, and hopefully C11
means that you wouldn't see intermediate values.

But I'm not convinced about that either: one natural way to update a
bitfield is to first do the masking, and then do the insertion of new
bits, so a bitfield assignment very easily exposes non-real values to
a concurrent read on another CPU.

What I think C11 is supposed to protect is from compilers doing
horribly bad things, and accessing bitfields with bigger types than
the field itself, ie when you have

struct {
char c;
int field1:5;

then a write to "field1" had better not touch "char c" as part of the
rmw operation, because that would indeed introduce a data-race with a
completely independent field that might have completely independent
locking rules.


struct {
int c:8;
int field1:5;

would not sanely have the same guarantees, even if the layout in
memory might be identical. Once you have bitfields next to each other,
and use a base type that means they can be combined together, they
can't be sanely modified without locking.

(And I don't know if C11 took up the "base type of the bitfield"
thing. Maybe you still need to use the ":0" thing to force alignment,
and maybe the C standards people still haven't made the underlying
type be meaningful other than for sign handling).